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5 Sustainable Designers Making a Positive Impact on the Fashion Industry

In honour of Earth Day, we are showcasing 5 designers making strides in sustainable fashion through their forward thinking products, sustainable processes, and environmentally friendly ethos.

Knock Twice

Photos Courtesy of Knock Twice

Knock Twice is the brainchild of Kurtis Tipoff and Darin Morrison-Beer. Based in Toronto, their reclaimed garments are sourced locally from raghouses and restored by hand into vintage blanks. With the ultimate objective of eliminating waste, Knock Twice seeks to create with one goal—giving discarded items a second chance. Through collaborating with other creative collectives, Knock Twice is building a community that deeply cares about sustainability. 

Knock Twice was born from a shared vision of sustainability in fashion, getting their start re-selling curated designer garments and gaining a cult following through Instagram. Knock Twice has always maintained a circular vision of the fashion cycle. By hosting immersive events, Knock Twice seeks to educate people about the wasteful processes that currently exist within fashion, and invites reflection upon the consequences of our consumption. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/Ca0stQPtjsZ/

Stella McCartney

Photos Courtesy of Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney has been an enthusiast for sustainability and animal rights for years. For Spring Summer 2023, the brand was inspired by “Change the History”—an activist slogan by Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara, whose iconic illustrations and punk social statements feature in the collection. The campaign serves as a call-to-action to a new generation of change makers, inviting them to raise their voices for our fellow creatures and Mother Earth. With a focus on animal rights within sustainable fashion, Stella McCartney reinforces a message that all creatures should be loved regardless of age or species.

Originally presented at Paris Fashion Week, the SS23 collection is free of leather, feathers, fur, and exotic skins, with the ready-to-wear collection crafted using 91% responsible materials. Referencing ’90s and 2000s fashion and classic Stella McCartney silhouettes, the centre of attention this season was sustainability, utility, and minimalism. The collection also includes the world’s first-ever luxury garment made from regenerative cotton, sourced from the Stella McCartney SOKTAS project in Turkey, alongside other responsible materials such as grape ‘leather’ and ENKA.

“What is more punk than upending the entire food and fashion industrial complex by removing animal products from the equation? My mantra right now is: ‘We are what we eat, we are what we wear’. Our choices have an interconnected impacts and if we want to change the history and protect Mother Earth for future generations, we must take action–from stopping eating meat, to ending the needless deaths of animal for fashion.” says Stella McCartney.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CrDf3eONRs-/

JiyongKim

Photos Courtesy of JiyongKim

The eponymous label created by Jiyong Kim was founded in 2020, following the success of the Korean designer’s graduate collection presented at Central Saint Martins. During his study, Kim worked for various designers, including the late Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton.

Kim’s collections highlight his unique techniques in fabric treatment. Developed by Kim, “Sun-bleach” is a process inspired by the aging of materials which requires only natural resources and does not include chemicals. The result is a unique garment that visually looks aged by the sun.

His latest collection explores various silhouettes in a unisex lens and is available on SSENSE. Seeking to explore new aesthetics and preserve sustainability, Kim also explores art through gallery installations that incorporate his sun-bleach techniques through various mediums. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/ClN9hQDSl7K/

aCare Label

Photos Courtesy of aCare Label

Founded by Samir Ayachi, aCare Label is a gender-neutral sustainable fashion brand committed to zero-waste processes in manufacturing. Using recycled materials and environmentally responsible practices in every step of the supply chain, they seek to minimize the environmental impact of the textile industry on the planet. By repurposing raw materials and rescuing defective items that would usually be cast aside, they help these garments complete the distribution cycle and find a home.

aCare Label is a circular economy project, providing transparency into their ethical practices and working hand in hand with a new generation of fashion that values sustainability. Blanks are made from 100% recycled cotton and are undyed and all-natural to reduce microplastic waste through every step of manufacturing. Based in Montreal, aCare Label is the first fully circular, entirely traceable, and landfill-neutral retailer. With deep ties to the community, aCare Label works directly within fashion production to inspire designers, companies, and brands toward a more sustainable future.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CnXUGuuL1Ys/

Avenir Vert

Photos Courtesy of Avenir Vert

Created by Olivia Donahue when she was only 17-years old, Avenir Vert takes a unique approach to sustainability. The brand was built upon a desire to combine environmentalist efforts with chic wearable fashion. The clothing is created from disassembled and reworked vintage garments, resulting in one-of-a-kind pieces.

Beginning with simple alterations of her curated vintage selection, Donahue built on her skills and slowly started advancing in reworking techniques, exploring her creative design and vision for her brand. All garments are handmade and fashioned from cloth and hardware from vintage clothing and household textiles, emphasizing the enduring qualities of existing fabrics and the potential for otherwise discarded material through new aesthetics. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CpAUvvmLc2K/

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